Data & Research

iPad sinks to lowest ever market share as Android tablets surge

IDC claims power balance is shifting

iPad sinks to lowest ever market share as Android tablets surge

Though still dominant, Apple's grip on the tablet market was weakened by something of an Android boom in the third quarter, reports IDC. 

Apple suffered a quarter-over-quarter decline in iPad shipments from 14.6 million in Q2 to 14.1 million in Q3, and its tablet market share sunk to 29.6 percent - its lowest ever. 

In contrast, Google's OS proved its strength, as in the face of Apple's decline, worldwide tablet shipments still managed to grow to 47.6 million in Q3.

That's a 7 percent rise from the previous quarter, and one largely fuelled by Android. 

Super Samsung

Samsung took second place in IDC's top five tablet vendors, with 9.7 million shipments in the third quarter and a 20.4 percent market share.

While Apple has held steady with 0.6 percent year-over-year growth, Samsung has taken great strides since 2012 with a growth of 123 percent.

Apple will be hoping its revised iPads can steady the ship

"White box tablet shipments continue to constitute a fairly large percentage of the Android devices shipped into the market," said Tom Mainelli, research director at IDC.

"These low cost Android-based products make tablets available to a wider market of consumers, which is good. However, many use cheap parts and non Google-approved versions of Android that can result in an unsatisfactory customer experience, limited usage, and very little engagement with the ecosystem.

"Android's growth in tablets has been stunning to watch", he continued, "but shipments alone won't guarantee long-term success."

As it stands, though, the tablet market is looking healthier than ever, with Android on the rise and Apple predicted to peak again in November with the launch of the iPad Air. 

[source: IDC]

Features Editor

Matt is really bad at playing games, but hopefully a little better at writing about them. He's Features Editor for, and has also written for lesser publications such as IGN, VICE, and Paste Magazine.